Jon Brooks creates very personal, optimistic works that accord with his immediate surroundings. Brooks studied under Wendell Castle, serving as his first apprentice. Under Castle’s guidance and driven by a deep connection with the forests of New Hampshire where he grew up, Brooks developed an expressive sculptural style where function is a chosen limitation. His impressive, early works were made over several years, first roughly carved with a chainsaw, left to air dry for two years, and then thoughtfully shaped, sanded and coated. Materials were sourced from felled trees on his wooded property in New Hampshire, where the landscape, his studio and his home seem to blur into one encompassing vision.

This work is a seminal example of Brooks’ art. Unique and expressive, this piece effortlessly blends sculpture and function, unites natural and interior environments, and embodies Brooks’ intention to make works “you can dance with.” This work was acquired directly from the artist by neighbors of Susan Franklin Brooks, Jon’s sister and the original owner of The Franklin Chair which now resides in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It has remained in the original collection until now.

I am attracted to the architecture of nature as a compelling dance of control and chaos. My art is about cooperating with the tree shapes I find to create a balance of form, function, and craftsmanship.

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks b. 1944

Jon Brooks is a leading figure in the American Studio Furniture movement. Born in Manchester, New Hampshire, Brooks took classes at the Currier Museum of Art as a child and later attended the Rochester Institute of Technology. He studied and under fellow masters Wendell Castle and William Keiser, before graduating with his master’s degree in 1966. Under Castle’s guidance and driven by a deep connection with the forests of New Hampshire where he grew up, Brooks developed an early expressive sculptural style where function is a chosen limitation.

After college, Brooks moved across the country to San Francisco and immersed himself in the culture. On the west coast, he found an environment that nurtured his independent spirit, one that was ripe with creative energy and fellow artists who were blurring the lines between craft and art. He enjoyed minor success during this time and exhibited in several galleries in the city. In 1969, after saving enough money, he and his first wife Mona moved back east and purchased land in New Boston, New Hampshire where he would build his home and studio, ArtSoul.

Learn More

Auction Results Jon Brooks